Re: Functioning IRs - today's real realities

From: Barbara Kirsop <barbara_at_BIOSTRAT.DEMON.CO.UK>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 14:48:28 -0000

Posted on behalf of Subbiah Arunachalam, Leslie Chan and Barbara Kirsop
Regarding comments to the list on the costs of setting up and maintaining
an Institutional Repository (IR), we agree that figures are being
publicised about the costs without distinguishing whether these are
solely for the institute's published research output or for a high-cost
Institute-wide or Campus-wide resource for all purposes. So when issuing
cost statements it is critical to explain precisely what is being set up,
otherwise figures are meaningless. Because of these confusions, we are
concerned that the very high figures quoted can deter smaller
and developing countries from setting up open access archives.
To off-set such concerns, we know that over 70 repositories for research
publications have already been set up in the developing world and we have
evidence of the low costs associated with these. Only yesterday a
colleague from India responded to a question we asked, saying
'....organisations can do with a server just costing about 40 K (rupees)
and use a broad band connectivity. This connectivity has become very
cheap recently due the launch of Broadband Services by BSNL/MTNL/Private
Cos. Running the server is also not a problem for us. We are already paid
for other work. It just takes fraction of our time to maintain the server
and handle the approval of uploaded articles. In the
same manner, Indian Universities / Research Institutes already have
infrastructure in form of libraries and librarians....'  And we have had
other similar reports from developing country organisations.

Cost should not be used as an argument to dissuade organisations from
setting up an eprints server. As Arthur says, costs are trivial compared
with the overall institutional budgets and can generally be absorbed. If
further examples of costs are to be reported, the purpose of the
repository and the overall research budget of the institution should be
stated at the same time.
Leslie Chan, Subbiah Arunachalam, Barbara Kirsop
Electronic Publishing Trust for Development
Received on Wed Dec 14 2005 - 16:18:09 GMT

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